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FOCAL International Seminar at Dublin Castle

10 November 2010


FOCAL International continued to celebrate its 25 years existence by holding a full day seminar in the Bedford Hall at Dublin Castle on 15th October. This day was a precursor to the FIAT/IFTA Conference which was held on the following 3 days at the Castle.

With an audience of 48 people attending from countries all around the world, the proceedings were commenced by Sue Malden welcoming and moderating the day. Lord Puttnam, chair of FOCAL International patrons set the day with a keynote that appealed for more access to archive content, but with protection of content owners/creators rights and; need to change legislation in the UK; importance of industry training.

Matt White gave an overview of the development of the archive sales business. Drawing attention to identified threats, many of which were addressed by a business panel from Paul Maidment -BBC Motion Gallery, Kevin Schaff -Thought Equity Motion, and Harriet Bridgeman and David Bickers -Bridgeman Art Library, Jean-Luc Vernhet- INA and Josh Rucci -Getty. The archive managers were challenged by representatives of broadcasters, commissioners and executive producers from RTE and the History Channel. Key outcomes were:

· Need to define “what is archive”

· Changing business/costing models - Clip sales v archive event sales need to be distinguished, leading to different pricing models. Many speakers foresaw the death of the clip sales business

· More flexible approach from the archives to production needs

· Need for more dialogue between archives and commissioners

· Are the right people in the archive talking to the right people in the customer team

Following a good Irish lunch and a convivial networking opportunity, we were delighted that Richard Melman – former commissioner for AETN was able to join us to discuss the Production Use of Archives.

Alex Sutherland – freelance Executive producer, Steve Carson – Commissioner for RTE, Liz Lavery - copyright clearance and distributor, On-Music and Razib Chatterjee – Archive Sales Manager, RTE, continued the debate of the use of content within programmes.

The Production and Commissioner representatives were pleasantly surprised to hear the archives expressing such flexibility in their approach to archive business.

FOCAL International Legal advisor – Hubert Best was joined by Dublin lawyer – John King of Ivor Fitzpatrick and Co to continue the theme set by Lord Puttnam. Orphan works rights issues were covered in depth in anticipation of legal changes in many of our countries.

The day was concluded by FOCAL International’s General Manager and Commercial Manager, Julie Lewis and Anne Johnson who launched the 2011 FOCAL International Awards, which will be held at the Lancaster London Hotel on 11th May 2011.